Howard Automobile Company


2140 Durant Street map it


designated in 1983

Howard Automobile Company

Frederick Reimers, Architect, 1930
Renovations and addition for the Buddhist Churches of America,
Jodo Shinshu Center
Hayashida Architects, 2006

This Zig-Zag Moderne building, designed for the sale and servicing of Buick automobiles, captures the glamour, rising affluence, and sophistication of the post-World War I era. Charles Howard, who rose to prosperity through his successful Bay Area auto dealerships, also owned the famous racehorse Seabiscuit.

Architect Frederick Reimers designed many period revival houses, as well as schools and other commercial buildings in the Moderne Style. Five unequal show-window bays are framed by fluted pilasters of reinforced concrete rising to scrolled, fountain-like capitals. Metal grilles, scrollwork, and doors in art deco-relief patterns further embellish the building.

Berkeley Historical Plaque Project

  • Howard Automobile Company (2000), photo Anthony Bruce, BAHA Archives.

  • Howard Automobile Company (2010), photo R. Kehlmann.

  • Seabiscuit and Charles Howard, Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation.

More information:

Photo credit abbreviations:
BAHA: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assn.
BHS: Berkeley Historical Society